Metallurgical Schools

Metallurgical Schools


educational institutions attached to metallurgical plants in the 18th and 19th centuries that trained skilled workers and technicians for the metallurgical industry. They laid a foundation for the development of vocational and technical education in Russia.

The appearance of metallurgical schools was related to the construction of metallurgical enterprises, which began on a wide scale in the early 18th century. Originally, in the first quarter of the 18th century, skilled workers were trained at the Olonets plants, from which craftsmen were sent to the Urals. In 1721 upon the initiative of the Russian scholar and statesman V. N. Tatishchev, the director of the Ural metallurgical plants, the first Ural metallurgical schools were opened at the Kungur, Alapaevsk, and Uktus plants. In 1724 the Ekaterinburg Advanced School was established. By 1737 there were metallurgical schools at all the large plants in the Urals owned by government departments. The metallurgical schools combined elementary general education with production training and were advanced schools for their time. The metallurgical schools admitted children of the “lower ranks and working people” of the Mining Service who had reached the age of seven.

The system of the plant schools included four basic types: (1) elementary (language and literature), which taught reading, writing and singing; (2) arithmetic, including the main branches of arithmetic and geometry, trigonometry, drawing and some theoretical fundamentals of the metallurgical industry; (3) German (in Ekaterinburg), where the study of the German language was related to physics, mechanics, and technology; (4) Latin (in Ekaterinburg), for children of higher technicians, the higher clergy, and foreign specialists. The last two types of schools did not last long.

For the study of practical metallurgy, students were sent to the plants, where regular jobs were allotted to them. From 1847 there were only two types of metallurgical school— schools attached to plants and district schools, which were set up in each metallurgical district. The district schools admitted the best graduates of the plant schools. In 1852 the Ekaterinburg School was reorganized into the Ural Metallurgical School, which graduated assistant engineers. The decline of the mining industry in the Urals affected the metallurgical schools as well. In 1879 the plant schools were transferred to the Ministry of Education and transformed into two-class elementary and city schools.

Metallurgical schools were also set up in the Altai and were modeled after the Ural schools. In 1753 the chancellery of the Koyvan’-Voskresenka administration “decided to establish” a metallurgical school in Barnaul; later metallurgical schools were opened at the Zmeinogorsk mine and the Pavel, Suzun, and Tomsk plants.


Nechaev, N. V. Gornozavodskie shkoly Urala: (K istorii professional’no-tekhnicheskogo obrazovaniie v Rossii). Moscow, 1956.
Smolin, A. V. “Iz istorii gorno-tekhnicheskogo obrazovaniia. . . .” In Trudy nauchnoi konferentsii .... (Kemerovskii gos. peda-gogicheskii in-t). Kemerovo, 1957.